NASCAR Mailbag: Kenseth's return and what the future holds

On this week's edition of the NASCAR Mailbag, we tackle Matt Kenseth's return to the Cup Series and Ford's decision to replace the Fusion with the Mustang in 2019.

NASCAR Mailbag: Kenseth's return and what the future holds
Jack Roush, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth
Matt Kenseth, Roush Fenway Racing
Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Fusion AdvoCare
Matt Kenseth, Jack Roush
Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Fusion AdvoCare
Trevor Bayne, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Fusion AdvoCare
Ford Mustang Pace Car
2019 Ford Mustang NASCAR
Paul Menard, Wood Brothers Racing, Ford Fusion Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center, Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Shell Pennzoil, Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Menards/Richmond, Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Fusion Busch Beer Flannel and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Fusion Fifth Third Bank
Race winner Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Fusion Shell Pennzoil

Matt Kenseth has come back part-time but the fans want him full-time in the sport. Are there any options for him? - From Ewyn (From the UK)

Great to get a question from the UK! What was interesting about the Kenseth announcement was three factors. One, there’s been discussions about a role away from racing, two, it’s a ride share and three, there was little talk beyond 2018. That suggests to me that a full-time ride elsewhere is perhaps unlikely and instead a transition from the #6 to a management/organizational role is more likely. - Tom Errington

What are your thoughts on Matt Kenseth coming back to the Cup Series and joining Roush Fenway Racing part time in the 6 car? And if Trevor Bayne wins does that still happen since Bayne will be in the playoffs? - From Robert

Hey Robert, thanks for the question. As for my thoughts, I am excited about it. Not only is it a reunion of sorts, but Matt's experience will be a huge asset for Roush Fenway Racing as they seek to reclaim some of their former glory. You could tell Matt didn't want to stop racing last year and it's great for him to get the chance to return, but even better for RFR to have a champion piloting one of their race cars. And if they can bridge the gap to their competitors, there's no question in Kenseth's ability to deliver them a race win. As for Bayne winning this weekend, although unlikely it will present an interesting dilemma for the team. It's no easy call to just throw away a Chase berth, and Steve Newmark said it would be a problem he'd like to have. I guess we'll cross that bridge if we come to it. - Nick DeGroot

Nice to see Mustang in the Cup Series. How come they allowed it after the deadline was passed in February? Can there be allowance now for the challenge too? From Leo

According to NASCAR, "The process to make body changes is clearly spelled out in the NASCAR rule book. OEMs must submit their intent to change a body design by September, two years before it will run (in this case, September 2017). From that point, there are developmental targets that must be hit to ensure the new vehicle will preserve competitive balance on the race track, and properly represent its street vehicle counterpart.” All the rules were followed by Ford in this case. - Jim Utter

Hello, mailbag staff. A couple of years ago pictures of "X-3" testing car surfaced on the internet. Is NASCAR actively working on the next generation of cars and is there any rough timetable or educated guess when we might see generation 7 cars? - From Tommi

Now that Ford has introduced the Mustang, I’m told that the next generation is likely to be a ‘few years away’ yet. If that’s the case, you would expect the process to be going along in the background. It’s certainly going to be a topic to watch. The removal of the requirement for cars to be a sedan in 2018 suggests the cars are going to move further down the current line of GT-like cars. - Tom Errington

 

shares
comments
Paul Menard: “I think you’ll be able to pass on the Roval”

Previous article

Paul Menard: “I think you’ll be able to pass on the Roval”

Next article

Kasey Kahne explains early season struggles

Kasey Kahne explains early season struggles
Load comments
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a chance of redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Effectively replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith...

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021
Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon Prime

Why Roger Penske is an American motorsport icon

In this exclusive one-on-one interview, Roger Penske reveals the inner drive that has made him not only a hugely successful team owner and businessman but also the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar. He spoke to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Dec 28, 2020
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Prime

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future…

NASCAR Cup
Nov 18, 2020
Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture Prime

Why Kyle Larson deserves his second chance in a cancel culture

“You can’t hear me? Hey n*****” Those fateful words uttered by Kyle Larson, spoken into his esports headset on April 12, were directed at his sim racing spotter – but instead they quickly became amplified around the world via social media, including his own Twitch stream.

NASCAR Cup
Oct 29, 2020